Adland replicates historic Marshalltown store fronts

contributed photo Dave Adland is pictured here with his models of historic Marshalltown storefronts.

Dave Adland enjoys reminiscing about Marshalltown’s past. He has created models of the former Little Bohemia store and Stone’s Restaurant, which are now on loan to the Historic Binford House for the public to enjoy during the month of September.

Adland got the idea of building models of historic Marshalltown buildings when he saw a drawing of the Little Bohemia store at the local Main Street Antiques store. He remembered he also had a photo of the store, taken by owner Gary Eich, that had been published by the Times-Republican.

The Little Bohemia, or “Little Bo,” was located on South Third Street near Anson Street when he was growing up.

“People drank beer there and shot pool, and Anson Elementary and Junior High School kids stopped in to buy candy there,” he said.

Adland decided to share the photo with his friends on FaceBook.

“I was amazed at how many people my age who grew up in Marshalltown commented on it!” he said. “I thought it would be fun to create a model and have other people enjoy it.”

A self-described “junking fanatic,” Adland said he “always checks the back rooms or other areas (of antique stores) to see if they have any wood that has nice character or patina that can be used on a project.”

As the owner of Adland Engraving, he had the equipment he needed to make the models. He used a printer’s saw to make the wood siding.

“The printer’s saw can cut very thin and fine pieces,” he said. The equipment is secured with a locking mechanism which “keeps my fingers out of the way.”

Adland was able to match details in the photo, including the advertising signs in the windows.

“I used a color sublimation printer to make the small advertising signs for the windows on my model,” he said, “and I used the laser engraver. The biggest challenge was finding the correct dimensions and proportions that I was happy with.”

Once he had created his model of the Little Bo, Adland decided to make a model of the former Stone’s Restaurant, which was located under the Third Avenue overpass, across from the railroad tracks.

“I had some family connections with Stone’s Restaurant,” he said. “My sister and my wife, Judy, worked there when they were growing up, and I was a classmate and friend of Don Stone’s stepson.” One highlight of the model is his reproduction of the iconic Stone’s sign.

Also on display at the Historic Binford House is a decorative item commemorating the former Smith Music Company, which Adland created with repurposed brass instrument parts he collected.

When asked what his next project will be, Adland said, “I’m thinking about Bacino’s Grocery Store.” Bacino’s Grocery was located on South Ninth Street between Linn and Boone Streets, near Miller Junior High School, which Adland attended.

“I have some photos I’ve printed, and I have a few items already. Maybe I’ll make it out of Legos,” he suggested.

Adland’s models will be on display at the Historic Binford House during the month of September. They can be viewed whenever the house is open for an event, including during the luncheons on Sept. 14 and Sept. 28, or by special arrangement. Contact Binford Board Member Mary Giese at mcgiese@mchsi.com for additional information.


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